For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Group claiming lineage to Lost Tribes of Israel set to immigrate to Israel after undergoing conversion in Nepal by teams from Rabbinical Court
Itamar Eichner Jewish World/Ynet 08 January '10
(As our community may be the largest current grouping of Bnei Menashe in Israel, we consider ourselves to have been very fortunate, for their having chosen to live here. Y)
Some 7,200 members of Bnei Menashe ("Children of Menasseh"), a group of people hailing from north-eastern India who claim lineage to one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, will make aliyah after converting to Judaism in Nepal.
According to a tradition that has been passed along for generations, the members of Bnei Menashe identify themselves as descendents of the Menashe tribe – one of the 10 tribes that exiled from Land of Israel at the end of the First Temple period.
For the past decade, Shavei Israel Organization, which help Jewish people across the world immigrate to Israel, has been working with Bnei Menashe communities in India and building education centers where they can learn Hebrew and Judaism to help strengthen their Jewish identity and aid those who wish to immigrate to Israel.
The organization, headed by Michael Freund, has also been working with the government in order to convince it to allow all the group members to immigrate to Israel.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"